Bicycle Coalition of Maine Adopts New Mission: Making Maine Better for Bicycling AND Walking
Advocacy organization supporting new legislation to ensure safety for bicyclists and pedestrians
Portland, ME — For 23 years, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has been the statewide leader advocating for the rights and safety of bicyclists. In early April, the Board of Directors formally adopted a change to the organization’s mission to include supporting walking and pedestrian issues as well. The mission now reads “Making Maine better for bicycling and walking.”
While the Coalition has been actively working on pedestrian issues for several years, the organization’s board chose to directly address the widened scope of work with an updated five-year strategic plan and mission statement. The Coalition currently operates a number of initiatives that have integrated walking components, including the Maine Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program, the Maine Safe Routes to School Program, the Maine Walking School Bus and the Community Spokes local advocacy training and support program.
Through the Coalition’s daily activities, conversations and partnerships, the organization will continue to promote the beneficial effects that bicycling and walking have on transportation, public health, livability, the environment and economic development, and work to ensure that people who walk and bike have safe facilities, fair law enforcement, and equitable access to our public ways.
The Coalition is reinforcing this newly expanded mission with a proactive legislative agenda in 2015. The Coalition has championed legislation that would make walking and biking safer and more accessible. LD 1301, Sponsored by Senator Amy Volk of Scarborough, would protect vulnerable users, clarify the operational responsibilities of bicyclists and keep pedestrians safer when they cross the street.” The legislative Transportation Committee will hear this bill on Tuesday, April 28th.
One pedestrian who might have benefited from the passage of this bill is David Grant, a barber and community volunteer in Brewer, who died from injuries sustained when he was hit by a car while crossing the street in a crosswalk in late 2014. “I hope everyone will support this bill and help prevent avoidable tragedies like my father’s death.” said David’s daughter, Kriss. “If cars stopped instead of yielded at crosswalks, my father might still be with us today.”
The Coalition is also supporting LD 193, a bond proposal that would fund the entire backlog of approved projects in MaineDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. The persistent backlog means that communities all over the state are waiting for the MaineDOT to fund sidewalks, crosswalks, multi-use-paths and other projects. The bond would provide over $10 million to pay for and complete 39 backlogged bicycle and pedestrian projects that would make communities across Maine safer and more welcoming for biking and walking.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is the statewide voice of cyclists and pedestrians. Since 1992, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has led the effort to make Maine better for bicycling and walking by protecting the rights and safety of cyclists and pedestrians through education, advocacy, legislation and encouragement. We support biking and walking for health, transportation, and recreation. For more information: bikemaine.org.